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Men remember their mate at this year's Anzac Day service

Ron Auburn and Frank McLean at the Fraser Shores 2 memorial with the medals of their mate Jim Wilson who died in December.
Ron Auburn and Frank McLean at the Fraser Shores 2 memorial with the medals of their mate Jim Wilson who died in December. Alistair Brightman

HE FOUGHT for our country in the skies above the Second World War and survived - but sadly Air Force Group Captain Jim Wilson passed away in December, leaving his two mates to play two-up alone this Anzac Day.

Last year the first Anzac Day ceremony was held at the new Fraser Shores 2 memorial, Grp Capt Wilson's home.

The Fraser Shores memorial was a special project of Grp Capt Wilson and his two mates Major Frank McLean and Staff Sergeant Ron Auburn.

It was a brilliant success, with many of the village's residents wandering up for the 5pm service.

However after Grp Capt Wilson's death in December, Maj McLean and Staff Sgt Auburn will be forced to spend their first Anzac Day in years without their mate.

"I don't doubt that either of us won't subconsciously mention Jimmy at the proceedings," Staff Sgt Auburn said.

"He was a character in the village, he was a character in himself.

"The stories that man could tell you from way back."

Maj McLean agreed Jim was not only a fellow serviceman but a great bloke.

"He was not only a comrade through the service of the three of us, but we loved him - he was to be admired," he said.

Staff Sgt Auburn said Jim was licensed to fly 27 different aircraft and was the only Australian to fly an American B29 bomber.

This year's service at the village is expected to be well attended with more ex-service personnel living in the village.

And anybody is welcome to attend the 5pm service.

"The Australian and New Zealand spirit on Anzac Day grows and grows - that's all I'd like to say," Maj McLean concluded.

Topics:  anzac day ceremony hervey bay mate



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